Good morning, readers!  Please give a warm welcome to Ian Walkley, who's here today to discuss his new release, NO REMORSE.  This cover caught my attention right away, and I was dying to know more.  It especially appealed to me given that it also addresses human trafficking, which as you all know, I deal with in the Black Opal series as Tori St. Claire. 

I think you'll be equally intrigued!

NO REMORSE

Two men, exiles from their respective societies, take conflicting approaches in the quest to regain their place and self-respect, and find themselves at war over a kidnapped girl.


Lee McCloud (“Mac”), a special forces soldier facing trumped-up charges of murder, is forced to work for a mysterious government outfit operating outside the law.


Khalid Yubani, cast out of Saudi Arabia for an offence against another member of the Royal family, seeks revenge through ruthless acts of evil. Engaged in the worst forms of human trafficking, Khalid buys Sophia, the daughter of Mac’s best friend, who has been kidnapped in Mexico. With time running out for Sophia, Mac enlists the help of a beautiful computer genius, a British SAS soldier and a Lebanese fixer to try to find Sophia and save her from the terrifying fate that Khalid has in store.


Although starting the quest as a man with no remorse, Mac gradually discovers a side of himself that he suppressed after witnessing the abduction of his own sister years before.


Dodging assassins, corrupt generals, evil medicos, Mossad agents, corrupt bureaucrats, and sharks, Mac ignores the order to stay out of trouble and follows Sophia’s trail from Mexico to Paris, London and Dubai, and the island of Andaran, where Khalid and his henchmen are waiting…

I asked Ian to share a bit about his inspiration and where the idea for NO REMORSE stemmed from.  Here's what he had to say:  

When I was running my marketing consultancy I traveled a great deal, and loved to read escapist thrillers while flying. I wanted to write a book that other travelers would enjoy. Also, I like action and suspense, and get bored with mysteries that fill pages with manipulated plots designed to delay the revealing of a secret. Thrillers are about tension that makes the reader want to turn the page. Many men don’t read fiction, and I want to write stories that get men reading again, while also appealing to female readers. Readers have written to me about how they stayed up all night to finish No Remorse, or how their husband wouldn’t pay them attention until he had finished the book. So I think the answer is short chapters, lots of action, and a mix of conflict, violence and sex.

In my younger days, my writing heroes were Ludlum, Maclean, Wilbur Smith—action, adventure, global conspiracies—so I naturally gravitated to thrillers. When I began writing No Remorse, in 2008, I had in mind writing a Ludlum-esque prologue about some mysterious event, and weaving a story around it. I was curious about Saddam’s missing WMD’s, so I came up with the idea of Saddam passing nuclear materials to an old Saudi Prince who buried them in the Arabian desert just before the invasion.

However, over the three years I was writing the book many things occurred that kept forcing me to rewrite the story. I came to the view that everyone wanted to put Iraq behind them, and more recently Osama Bin Laden was killed. In the end, I spent a further six months rewriting the story so that it would not date.

No Remorse in its final form is the story of the kidnapping of two American teenage girls on holiday in Mexico, and the subsequent search for them by a former special operations soldier Lee McCloud (Mac). I have retained the theme of ‘no remorse’ in terms of achieving retribution for the evil that bad people have done to others.

I researched many aspects of No Remorse, traveling to Paris, London and Dubai, and activities of the bad guys such as human trafficking, which is a massive global trade rivaling drugs in illegal earnings. There are some terrible things happening with the organized kidnapping and enslaving of women and children, and many countries turn a blind eye to it. I also did a considerable amount of research into the corruption of the global financial system, computer hacking, and read many non-fiction accounts from special forces operators.

I tried to make the relationship between Mac and Tally a love-hate thing, like in the TV series Moonlighting, or in the film Mr & Mrs Smith. In Mac’s case, he feels a lack of trust towards attractive women, because his fiancée left him for his brother four weeks before their wedding. Will this make it difficult to work with Tally, the woman who is effectively his boss? Of course.

Many stories featuring soldiers or cops make the hero too powerful. I wanted my hero to make the sort of mistakes people make in real life, to be out of his depth at times, in order to make the achievement of his goal that much more difficult. To help develop Mac’s and Tally’s character traits, I watched those shows again, and others like The Shield, which features a stubborn cop considered a loose cannon by his boss.

Fascinating, yes?  Let's take a peek at a particularly poignant scene:  

~~@~~
EXCERPT
~~@~~

The girls’ fathers, Bob and Marvin, each carried a briefcase full of cash with a tiny GPS tracker hidden in a false bottom. They were both taller than the kidnappers, and through the scope Mac could read the pain on Bob’s face. The behavior of the kidnappers was still bothering him, but there was nothing he could do except watch. The leader held out his palm and waved his pistol like it was a flag. He addressed the fathers in accented English.

“You’re late. We think perhaps you do not want your daughters back, eh?”

“Sorry,” Bob said, his breathing short and sharp. “We took a wrong turn coming into the dam. The signs were confusing.”

The man grunted and glanced at the one with the knife. “Check them.”

Knife Man patted them down, searched their pockets, nodded the all clear.

“You have our money?”

“Of course.” Bob’s voice came through deep and confident in his earpiece, although the armpits of his shirt betrayed his anxiety. Be courteous but strong, Mac had advised him, otherwise they won’t respect you. Being a basketball coach undoubtedly helped. “And you have our daughters,” Bob said. A statement, not a question. He held out the briefcase. “Here’s the money. We didn’t contact the police.”

Several kidnappers gave a hearty laugh.

The leader smirked. “We wouldn’t be here if you had, gringo. But your daughters would be. With bullets in their heads.” He gestured to a kidnapper wearing a red bandana around his neck. “Abrirlos,” he ordered, and the man took both briefcases and unclipped the locks.

~~@~~
YOU HAVE JUST READ AN EXCERPT FROM NO REMORSE
~~@~~
 
 
Thank you, Ian, for stopping by today! 
 
Readers, be sure to follow Ian's blog tour -- he's giving away a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commentor during the tour.  The more you comment, the better your chances of winning!! Complete tour dates can be found here.
 
About the Author:
 

Ian Walkley has had a career in social and market research, and has been writing novels, short stories, travel articles and copywriting since 2008. He has co-authored two publications on small business and his first novel, No Remorse, was published in 2012. Ian's screenplay "Deniable Justice" placed fourth in the Writer’s Digest 2011 Competition for best screenplay. Ian has travelled extensively and researched his subject, and brings a knowledge of location and technical detail to the exotic settings and big screen thrills. Ian lives in Brisbane with his wife and three children.
 
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter


~Claire
www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com

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9 Responses so far.

  1. Thank you for hosting Ian today

  2. Taken comes to mind. Interesting storyline. :)

  3. It sounds so exciting. I remember when I read my first Ludlum book. I was hooked on the genre at that point. Yours sounds just as good.

  4. Your comments today are really sinking home the lure to buy your book. I'm sure it will be one that I would enjoy reading even though it's not my usual genre (historical romance). You make comparisons to Moonlighting (which I've never seen) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (which I loved). My first thoughts while reading your comments: How does the relationship between your characters compare to Jethro Gibbs and Jenny Shephard in NCIS? They were partners (and lovers) in Paris early on in their careers before moving on. Later, Jenny became head of NCIS and Jethro's boss. The chemistry sizzled between them.

  5. Love the excerpt and the cover is great.

  6. Very cool. I love a book that relishes its own story while referencing things in a bigger context. The human trafficking that goes on even today is horrific. There are lots of people trying to end it, but there's no one solution. The worst of humanity is on display here, as well as the best.

    I think Ian has got something here that both men and women readers will find appealing. Now I want to read more...

  7. I think it's important to have a somewhat flawed, human hero. The book sounds great.

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  8. Hi everyone, thanks for your comments. I was delayed by being required for Jury Duty, but here I am... Karen H, I think your reference to Jethro and Jenny is spot on. You'll have to wait and read the sequel to find out how it continues, but I would strongly suggest if you want sizzle, read No Remorse!!
    Den, you are right, human trafficking is a huge problem, as is the gap between rich and poor. How many dystopian novels do we read that have the very rich exploiting the poor. It is the classic dichotomy that appeals to fiction writers.
    Thanks for all of the comments today,
    Cheers,
    Ian

  9. I look forward to reading it. :)

    Becky01x(at)gmail(dot)com

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